Het Oosten Headquarters

Steven Holl
Woningcorporatie Het Oosten
Tram 7-10
Olv Klijn, Joks Janssen, 'Een oplichtende spons', de Architect juli-augustus 2000, p.52-56.

Headquarters housing corporation Het Oosten

The former Rijksmagazijn van Geneesmiddelen (state depository for medicines) in Sarphatistraat has been restored and extended to a design by the American architect Steven Holl and is now in use as the headquarters of the housing corporation Het Oosten.

In the two-storey U-shaped building, the original columns, wooden trusses, cast-iron staircases and vaulted ceilings have been preserved. White walls with large openings dominate the interior. On the side of Singelgracht, a pavilion has been added to the complex. It is used as a conference room and staff restaurant. The interior consists of an almost completely open space in which two different-sized balconies jut into the space. The white walls have large window openings. Outside, a façade of perforated copper plate with large openings has been placed in front of the façade proper. Not all of these openings coincide with those in the inner wall.

Inside, a second perforated wall has been placed in front of the façade, which extends in front of the windows in places. In accordance with the concept ‘Patterns in a chromatic field’, areas of bright colour have been applied to the white walls inside as well as outside. The perforations and reflections give rise to a spatial play of colours. The pavilion seems to change colour as you walk past it due to the apparent movement of the coloured areas behind the copper screen. (ARCAM/BU)